Oregon Regulators Crack Down on Hospital

Oregon occupational safety and health regulators have fined an acute care facility and a general contractor each more than $25,000 for mishandling asbestos during a recent renovation project.

As this article in the Eugene, Ore. newspaper The Register Guard reports, state officials learned that asbestos in the McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center air conditioning system had been disturbed, potentially exposing workers to the deadly fibers. The asbestos was discovered in the sealant and tape, according to state officials.

Subsequently, regulators fined McKenzie-Willamette $26,960 for seven violations, including failure to inform custodians, housekeepers, operating staff and other employees that asbestos was on-site. According to a state document, McKenzie-Willamette representatives “showed a plain indifference to employee safety and health.” These representatives knew asbestos was present and its location and didn't inform workers who might have been potentially impacted, the document said.

State regulators also fined a Utah construction company $25,200 for five violations, including failure to inform subcontractors about the presence of asbestos.

Any exposure to asbestos should be cause for concern. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure. Breathing in the fibrous mineral causes serious illnesses and conditions, including asbestosismesothelioma, and lung and other cancers.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related condition and believe you were exposed to asbestos at a jobsite, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your legal options, please contact Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation.

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